2017/2018 Lecture Series

James B. Stewart (DATE CHANGE)
“Truth Matters: How Fake News and False Statements Undermine America”
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 6:30pm (Please note: this lecture date has changed from the originally published date of Oct 12)
Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project The Unreliable Narrator.

Ruth Reichl
“Protect What We Eat”
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 6:30pm
Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project Bees.

Ruth Reichl’s lecture has been generously sponsored by Susan and Ron Greenspan.

Viet Thanh Nguyen
“An Evening with Viet Thanh Nguyen”
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 6:30pm
Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project This Land is Whose Land?

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s lecture is presented in partnership with The Community Library and has been generously supported by an anonymous gift and Marcia & Don Liebich.

Free Student Humanities Club tickets are provided through the generous support of Robin Leavitt and Terry Friedlander for lecture series, performing arts events and Company of Fools staged readings.

2017/2018 Lecture Series Tickets

CLICK HERE to buy the 2017/2018 Lecture Series (available to MEMBERS ONLY)


CLICK HERE to renew or become a member! Not sure if you’re a current member? Call us at 208-726-9491 to verify or renew.

Upcoming Lectures

LECTURE: Ruth Reichl “Protect What We Eat”

Thursday, February 8, 6:30 pm

Bestselling author, food critic, and judge on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, Ruth Reichl is one of the most recognizable and beloved culinary voices, guiding people around the kitchen, showing them what to eat, how to cook and where to satisfy their cravings. Reichl has been the Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine...

CREATIVE JUMP-IN: Seeing Other People: Photography, Difference, and Ethics at the Limit with Sarah Sentilles

Tuesday, January 30, 5:30 pm

What if being confronted by someone utterly different from you—someone you are opposed to, confused by, scared of, someone you can’t understand—was the signal that there was a life in need of your protection? What if “otherness” was the foundation for ethical action? Focusing on photography’s hist...

LECTURE: James B. Stewart “Truth Matters: How Fake News and False Statements Undermine America” (DATE CHANGE)

Thursday, October 19, 6:30 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author James B. Stewart combines the skills of an investigative reporter with the style and sensibility of a novelist, examining events in finance, law and politics that shape American society. A former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor and a regular co...

LECTURE with Photographer David Tejada – CANCELLED

Monday, September 25, 6:30 pm

In an evening presentation, photographer David Tejada will speak about his inspiration, influence and challenge faced in the world of commercial and corporate annual report photography. David will take you behind the scenes of several corporate assignments and share his process and working techniques. Davi...

FREE LECTURE: American Astronomical Society “Revealing the Hidden, High Energy Sun” with Dr. Rachel Osten

Sunday, August 20, 5:30 pm

Eclipses of the Sun happen when the Moon blocks the Sun's light from our view.  It may seem puzzling, then, that solar physicists flock to study the Sun during these special events.  Shouldn't there be nothing to see? Yet there is. I will talk about what the tantalizing solar features revealed durin...

FREE LECTURE: Ceramic Artist Gerald Arrington

Tuesday, August 8, 5:00 pm

In an evening presentation, ceramic artist Gerald Arrington will speak about his Wood River Valley inspiration and influence as well as his process and working techniques. Arrington received the 2016 Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival Best of Ceramics Winner award. His lecture is in conjunction wit...

FREE PRESENTATION with Idaho Conservation League on Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve

Thursday, July 13, 6:30 pm

Idaho Conservation League staff member Betsy Mizell will discuss the excessive use of artificial light—known as light pollution—and its environmental consequences for humans, wildlife and our climate. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the collaborative effort taking place in the Wood River...

FREE LECTURE: Landscape Into Architecture: Living with Frank Lloyd Wright in Idaho by Henry Whiting

Wednesday, June 28, 6:00 pm

Henry Whiting describes himself as having lived with Frank Lloyd Wright his entire life. He was born in a hospital and raised in a house designed by a charter member of Wright's Taliesin Fellowship, Alden B. Dow. Dow also happened to be Whiting’s great uncle as well as his mentor. As a young man Whiting mov...

FREE ARTIST TALK with Pegan Brook: One Artist’s Path

Thursday, June 8, 6:15 pm

Immediately following the evening exhibition tour, participating artist Pegan Brooke will give a slide talk. Pegan Brooke makes nature-based abstract paintings that invite us to pause and to look closely—to spend time immersed in the fields of muted color and light she presents on her canvases. Inspired ...

LECTURE: Arianna Huffington Ending the Stress and Burnout Epidemic by Changing the Way We Work and Live

Friday, May 26, 6:30 pm

"Ending the Stress and Burnout Epidemic by Changing the Way We Work and Live" The way we live and work is not working for any of us – not individually and not collectively. Too much of the world is still buying into the collective delusion that burnout is simply the price we have to pay for success. But th...

FREE PANEL DISCUSSION: What is the relationship between the practice of prayer and meditation?

Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 pm

This panel discussion brings together spiritual leaders and practitioners to explore the relationship between prayer and meditation. Join our panelists as they explore prayer and personal meditation, their intersection and influence on our personal lives and society. Moderated by Cate Cox, practicing Marriag...

FREE ARTIST TALK with Mahwish Chishty: Rayguns, Robots, Drones

Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Following the Evening Exhibition Tour, at 6:30pm, special guest and participating artist Mahwish Chishty will give a slide talk in the museum. Chishty, who was born in Pakistan, will explain how she has incorporated her training as a miniature painter into her work on drones, using traditional techniques to t...

LECTURE: P.W. Singer

Thursday, February 9, 6:30 pm

P.W. Singer is the author of multiple award-winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science. Described in the Wall Street Journal as "the premier futurist in the national security environment," 
Dr. Singer is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st-century warfare. Singe...

READING: An Evening with Author Korby Lenker

Thursday, December 8, 6:30 pm

Korby Lenker’s first book, Medium Hero, features 27 stories culled from his 15 years as a solo touring indie musician. The stories are as colorful as their titles—“Rat’s Dude,” “Manboy and the Mafia Table,” “Catlady”—and flourish under his descriptive, empathetic pen. From a romanti...

FREE LECTURE: From Idaho Stories to Idaho Novels with Julie Weston

Thursday, December 1, 6:30 pm

Local and award-winning writer Julie Weston will discuss how her Idaho stories grew into memoir and mysteries. Weston’s books include The Good Times Are All Gone Now: Life, Death and Rebirth in an Idaho Mining Town (2009), Moonshadows (2015), and Basque Moon (2016). Part of The Center's BIG IDEA project ...

SOLD OUT! FREE LECTURE: Dr. Jenny Emery Davidson on The Frontier Composed: The Far West Sketches of Mary Hallock Foote

Thursday, November 3, 6:30 pm

At a time when prominent artists and writers were inscribing the West with the triumphalist vision of manifest destiny, Mary Hallock Foote created work that pushes back against that narrative. Her articles, stories, and drawings earned the actual income that made it possible for her family to build a home in ...

FREE ARTIST TALK: Idaho Stories artist Scott Fife

Thursday, October 20, 5:30 pm

Seattle-based artist Scott Fife, well known for his realistic sculptures made from archival cardboard, will share stories of his process and his inspiration behind his works. From sculptures of Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound camping together in sleeping bags to the Tacoma Art Museum’s beloved Leroy, a...

FREE LECTURE: Craters of the Moon artist John Grade

Thursday, October 13, 6:30 pm

John Grade has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe, executing large-scale temporary sculptures in many venues. His installations, like Spur, commissioned by The Center and currently installed at Craters of the Moon, are site-specific and born out of a decades-long interest in the earth’s s...

LECTURE: Inside National Geographic with Kent Kobersteen and Gerd Ludwig

Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm

In an evening presentation, National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig will speak about several of his projects for the National Geographic Magazine and show his work. Former National Geographic picture editor and Director of Photography Kent Kobersteen will speak about the Geographic’s philosophy of phot...

LECTURE: Miranda July in conversation with Marcia Franklin

Thursday, September 22, 6:30 pm

Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her videos, performances, and web-based projects have been presented at sites such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and in two Whitney Biennials. July wrote, directed and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Kno...

ART HISTORY LECTURE: Defining the Nation through Landscape with Dr. Courtney Gilbert

Thursday, June 30, 5:30 pm

This lecture considers the way artists have used landscape to define the American nation. From the painters of the Hudson River School to Land Art to contemporary artists responding to the National Parks, artists have helped shape the way we understand our nation through their interpretations of its natural p...

LECTURE: Art and Technology with Painter David Dunlop

Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 pm

Examine art’s relationship with cameras and computers to the past, present and future. Learn how the purposes of art have been changed by technology.  We reveal the secret optical technology behind painting for the past 600 years through today. Discover how artists have used, disguised and hidden the use o...

David Sedaris – SOLD OUT!

Monday, April 25, 8:00 pm

NPR humorist and bestselling author of Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. His pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.” He is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing...

George Saunders

Thursday, March 3, 6:30 pm

George Saunders is the author of four collections of short stories, a novella, and a book of essays. His most recent collection, Tenth of December, is the winner of the 2014 Story Prize for short fiction and 2014 Folio Prize, which celebrates the best fiction of our time. Tenth of December was also a finalist...

Laverne Cox – CANCELLED

Thursday, February 4, 6:30 pm

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ lecture with Laverne Cox, scheduled for February 4, has been cancelled by her agent. Ms. Cox has been offered a unique film opportunity and while we are disappointed that the community will not benefit from the discussion generated by her lecture, we are excited for her c...

FREE Monologue Performances & Panel Discussion: What is Gender Today?

Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 pm

With our panelists, enjoy the performance of three monologues commissioned by Company of Fools as part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project Role Play and then join in a discussion reflecting on the works and focusing on gender stereotypes today. Our panelists include Dr. Virginia Husting, Director of Gender Stu...

Roz Chast

Thursday, January 21, 6:30 pm

Cartoonist Roz Chast is a brilliant interpreter of the everyday. Her cartoons depict neuroses, hilarity, angst and domesticity and are loaded with words, objects and patterns. More than 1000 of them have been printed in The New Yorker since 1978. Chast has written and illustrated books for both children and a...

Art History Lecture: The History of Modernism in Three: Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, René Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe and Meret Oppenheim’s Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) with Kristin Poole

Thursday, October 15, 5:30 pm

The history of Modernism is complex and convoluted, full of tangents and transgressions, starts and stops. But it is also a story that we can begin to understand by asking some basic questions about representation, material and presentation. The lecture will explore three works of art that illustrate the chal...

Erik Larson

Thursday, October 8, 6:30 pm

Erik Larson is a master of narrative non-fiction. His vividly written, bestselling books chronicling historic events have won several awards and been published worldwide. Some of his popular books include Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts, and his most recent Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the...

LECTURE: Art and Science: A Night with Painter David Dunlop

Thursday, October 1, 6:30 pm

From Ancient Greece to the 21st century here is an explanation of how art works with science. How art evolved to imitate appearance; how Vision works and how we thought it worked; how optics were used to make paintings and then photographs; how geometry became perspective; how artist colors tried to imitate v...

Community Reading with Anthony Marra

Thursday, June 18, 6:30 pm

Author Anthony Marra will read excerpts from his novel Constellation of Vital Phenomena, share stories of his travels in Chechnya and discuss the inspiration and writing of his novel. ANTHONY MARRA is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, winner of the National Boo...

SOLD OUT! FREE LECTURE: Flex Your Cortex: Seven Secrets to Turbocharge Your Brain with Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman

Thursday, April 2, 6:30 pm

Why is there a stigma associated with our brain's health? Consider that the brain is the most powerful, most staggeringly complex electro-biochemical machine ever created.  Above and behind our eyes are 100 billion neurons in a small calcium shell, laced with organic pumps, channels and switches. Until recen...

Ann Patchett

Thursday, March 5, 6:30 pm

A celebrated writer and the owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, Ann Patchett is a champion of literary culture. In this presentation hear from the author who is described as "a woman of wisdom, determination, generosity and courage" by her friend and novelist Elizabeth Gilbert. Patchett is the a...

FREE Panel Discussion: What Affects How Our Brain Works?

Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 pm

The brain is complex. How does this vital organ operate? Join four health professionals from our community as they discuss the impact of relationships, aging, lifestyle choices, illness and trauma on the brain. Panelists include Karin Lindholm, MD, neurologist; Tim Stoddard, MD, psychiatrist; Eryn Michaud, Ph...

FREE Brown Bag Lunch Lecture: Impacts on Academic Learning with Dr. Anne Clohessy

Tuesday, February 10, 12:00 pm

Join Dr. Anne Clohessy, Clinical Director of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, as she shares how we process information and what can affect student academic performance. Anne B. Clohessy, PhD is a licensed psychologist who has worked in the field of learning disabilities for over 15 years. She earned her doctora...

SOLD OUT! Shankar Vedantam

Thursday, February 5, 6:30 pm

NPR social science correspondent and author of "The Hidden Brain", Vedantam speaks nationwide about the link between science and human behavior. With expertise and insight he explores the role of our unconscious mind in dictating many of our deeply rooted feelings, prejudices, biases and expressions. Part ...

Ethan Russell “The Best Seat in the House” Lecture and Slideshow

Thursday, January 22, 6:30 pm

Author of the memoir Ethan Russell: An American Story and rock photographer of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Who. He will share compelling behind-the-scenes stories, illustrated with original photographs and music from his experience with these Rock & Roll greats. Part of The Center's 2014-20...

Will Shortz

Tuesday, January 13, 6:30 pm

Puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, the crossword editor of the New York Times, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Shortz will engage the audience in a fun, informative and brain stimulating lecture that will address how puzzles are created, the curious his...

Timothy Egan

Thursday, October 2, 6:30 pm

Timothy Egan has written several books chronicling the American West, including The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America, which dissects one of our country’s worst-ever forest fires and its impact on national forest management. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a popular New York...

Free Panel Discussion: What should our relationship with the forest be?

Tuesday, September 16, 6:30 pm

Join our panelists for a reflective discussion about how we are linked to the forest and what our responsibility is for its management. Panelists include Ryan Haugo, Forest Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy; John Freemuth, Boise State Professor of Public Policy and Administration; Robin Garwood, Sawtooth Na...

CANCELLED: Reading: Writing Workshop Reading with Heather Parkinson Dermott

Tuesday, June 17, 6:30 pm

Please note: this reading has been cancelled. Thank you for your interest. Author Heather Parkinson Dermott shares select readings from her novel Across Open Ground, as part of the weeklong fiction workshop she is teaching June 16–20. Heather Parkinson Dermott received her MFA in film production from ...

FREE Panel Discussion: Accessing our Creativity

Thursday, April 3, 6:30 pm

Our panelists, designer Bobby Hughes, business professional Marty Albertson and educator James Foster will address the ways creativity and innovation play critical roles in our lives and work. Moderator Katelyn Ziegler, Director of Education and Humanities, will lead a conversation focused on how the panelist...

CANCELLED: Betty Merken Artist Talk

Friday, March 7, 5:30 pm

Betty Merken is a painter, a printmaker, and an architectural colorist.  Her work is exhibited internationally and is represented in several museum collections, including the UCLA Hammer Museum, the Museums of Fine Art, San Francisco, and the Portland, OR Art Museum. Betty will be presenting a multimedia sli...

Mark Bittman – part of the 13-14 Lecture Series

Thursday, March 6, 6:30 pm

New York Times food writer and the author of How to Cook Everything and most recently Food Matters. Frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show and was a host of the PBS series Spain: On the Road Again with Mario Batali and Gweneth Paltrow. Self-declared home cook and proponent of VB6, which he wrote the same titled...

Peter Blodgett Lecture: On the History of Railroads and Tourism

Tuesday, February 11, 6:30 pm

"Defining America's Playgrounds:  Railroads and the Promotion of Tourism in the Rocky Mountain West, 1915-1945" Curator of Western American History at the Huntington Library Peter Blodgett will discuss the role of the transconti­nental railroad in promoting tourism in the American West. Blodgett recently...

Ian Frazier – part of the 13-14 Lecture Series

Thursday, February 6, 6:30 pm

Frazier is a writer and humorist for The New Yorker and is the author of the acclaimed, Travels in Siberia. In his nonfiction works Great Plains, Family, and On the Rez, Frazier combines first person narrative with in-depth research on American history, Native Americans, fishing and the outdoors. Part of t...

Best Trip Ever: In 6 Minutes or Less!

Thursday, January 23, 6:30 pm

Enjoy an evening of concise presentations by local travelers. Our six guests will share their favorite destinations— from adventure travels to family vacations—in just six minutes and twenty slides each! Part of the Center's Wish You Were Here multidisciplinary project.

Art History Lecture: Elliot Anderson – Average Landscapes (FREE!)

Thursday, January 16, 6:00 pm

Elliot Anderson, whose Average Landscapes are part of the Wish You Were Here exhibition, will address the link between American landscape painting and American tourism. Hudson River School artists painted images of American wonders that drew tourists into the wild. Anderson’s talk will place his digitally f...

Is it Capitalism? with Wharton School professor, Marshall Meyer (part 2 of 2-part class))

Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 pm

Tue, Oct 29, 7-8:30pm In these seminar classes we will discuss different versions of Chinese capitalism - centrally managed capitalism where the Chinese government retains control over the largest Chinese enterprises, regional decentralized authoritarianism where local governments compete for revenues and ...

Is it Capitalism? with Wharton School professor, Marshall Meyer (part 1 of 2 part class)

Saturday, October 26, 11:00 am

Sat, Oct 26, 11am-12:30pm In these seminar classes we will discuss different versions of Chinese capitalism - centrally managed capitalism where the Chinese government retains control over the largest Chinese enterprises, regional decentralized authoritarianism where local governments compete for revenues ...

David Henry Hwang – part of the 13-14 Lecture Series

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 pm

A part of the multidisciplinary project Stories of a Changing China. Playwright, screenwriter and librettist, Hwang is best known as the author of M. Butterfly and Ch’inglish—a hit comedy about an American businessman in China. Hwang is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won an Obie for M. Butterfly. A graduat...

Orville Schell – part of the 13-14 Lecture Series

Thursday, October 10, 6:30 pm

A part of the multidisciplinary project Stories of a Changing China. Author, journalist and expert on China and Tibet, Schell’s newest book is China’s Long March to Wealth and Power which profiles 11 prominent figures asking, “How did the sick man of Asia end up as the most dynamic economic force in the...

Alexandra Fuller – part of the 13-14 Lecture Series

Thursday, September 26, 6:30 pm

Author of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year of 2002, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness and The Legend of Colton H. Bryant. Fuller was born in England, spent her childhood in Africa and now calls Wyoming home. Fuller will teach a weekend writing wor...

A Tale of Two Firms with Wharton School professor, Marshall Meyer (part 2)

Tuesday, September 24, 7:00 pm

Tues, Sept 24, 7-8:30pm In these two seminar style classes, we explore the leadership and strategies of two Chinese firms, one a firm steeped in Chinese culture that has become a world-famous brand, the other perhaps the most Western of large Chinese firms that was also the first Chinese firm to acheive gl...

A Tale of Two Firms with Wharton School professor, Marshall Meyer (part 1)

Saturday, September 21, 11:00 am

Sat, Sept 21 11am-12:30pm In these two seminar style classes, we explore the leadership and strategies of two Chinese firms, one a firm steeped in Chinese culture that has become a world-famous brand, the other perhaps the most Western of large Chinese firms that was also the first Chinese firm to achieve ...

Jeff Kelley – Half-life of a Dream

Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 pm

As part of Stories of a Changing China, a three-month multidisciplinary exploration of contemporary China, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present a Chinese art history lecture with curator and art critic Jeff Kelley. Kelley has written extensively about contemporary Chinese art and has also curate...

Series Packages On Sale

Friday, August 23, 10:00 am

Series ticket packages are only available for members of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. If you’d like to become a member, please first add a membership to your cart, or give us a call! 208.726.9491

FREE LECTURE: Artist Talk with Seth Resnick

Wednesday, June 26, 5:30 pm

Seth Resnick will talk about contemporary photography and his prolific career, including his contributions to digital workflow through D-65 online. For more on Seth visit www.sethresnick.com

Orientalism from Eugène Delacroix to Arthur Wesley Dow with Courtney Gilbert and Kristin Poole

Wednesday, May 15, 5:30 pm

In preparation for The Center’s summer exhibition on Japanese printmaking and American art, Courtney Gilbert, Curator of Visual Arts, and Kristin Poole, Artistic Director, present two lectures on Orientalism in European and American art. The lectures will trace the relationship between Asian and Western art...

Orientalism from Eugène Delacroix to Arthur Wesley Dow with Courtney Gilbert and Kristin Poole

Wednesday, May 8, 5:30 pm

In preparation for The Center’s summer exhibition on Japanese printmaking and American art, Courtney Gilbert, Curator of Visual Arts, and Kristin Poole, Artistic Director, present two lectures on Orientalism in European and American art. The lectures will trace the relationship between Asian and Western art...

Admiral Jay Johnson as a part of Home Front and the 2012-13 Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 2, 6:30 pm

Admiral Jay L. Johnson retired on December 31, 2012 as Chairman and CEO of General Dynamics, one of the nation's largest aerospace and defense companies. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, his naval career included service as a naval aviator in Vietnam, and command at every level from fighter squadron to ...

Dr. Marshall Meyer: A Tale of Two (or More) Chinas

Thursday, March 28, 5:30 pm

Marshall Meyer, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, will talk about the multiple Chinas that exist today, poles apart from one another other. As novelist Yu Hua recently noted in a New York Times column, the world’s second largest economy is also home to more tha...

Tim O’Brien as a part of Home Front and the 2012-13 Lecture Series

Wednesday, March 13, 6:30 pm

In speaking about his craft and why he tells war stories, O’Brien says, “That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.” For more than thirty years he has, with novels like Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Wood...

Richard Rodriguez as a part of Signs, Symbols, Self: Ethnicity and Identity

Thursday, January 17, 6:30 pm

Richard is a contributing editor at New America Media in San Francisco. He writes regularly for several newspapers and magazines, both in the United States and in England. He has also written an autobiographical trilogy on class, ethnicity and race: Hunger of Memory, Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Me...

Daniel Handler as a part of Happily Ever After?

Sunday, November 18, 6:30 pm

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle." So begins Daniel Handler’s wildly popular series of books, Lemony Snicket’s A Series...

Frank Rich

Sunday, October 14, 6:30 pm

Frank Rich joined New York magazine in June 2011 as Writer-at-Large, writing monthly on politics and culture, and editing a special monthly section anchored by his essay. He is also a commentator on nymag.com, engaging in regular dialogues on the news of the week. Rich joined the magazine following a disti...

Modernism and Fashion in Fin de Siècle Vienna. Lecture by Rebecca Houze, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 6, 5:30 pm

Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, simmered with radical artistic and intellectual innovation at the turn-of-the-twentieth-century. Join art historian Rebecca Houze for a lecture and slideshow exploring the connections between the worlds of modern art and fashion design during the period. Art...

Timothy H. O’Sullivan Was Not Afraid: Two Photographers and Shoshone Falls. Lecture by Toby Jurovics, Curator

Tuesday, July 3, 6:30 pm

Shoshone Falls has been a compelling presence for artists since the 19th century. Join Toby Jurovics for a discussion about the importance of Shoshone Falls to Timothy H. O’Sullivan, one of the first photographers of the American West, and the project that drew Thomas Joshua Cooper to the falls 125 years la...

Los Angeles During Its Bohemian Heyday: 1910-1925. Lecture by Beth Gates Warren

Thursday, June 28, 6:30 pm

During the early years of the 20th century, Los Angeles was a rough-and-tumble place. Thousands of people were arriving there every day, seeking fame, fortune, health, and an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Some succeeded; others did not. But their stories were always dramatic. Join Beth Gates Warren as s...

Reading with Yiyun Li

Tuesday, June 19, 6:30 pm

Yiyun Li will read from her recent work which includes short story collection Emerald Girl, Gold Boy and the novel The Vagrants.

Garrison Keillor

Monday, March 5, 6:30 pm

Keillor is probably best known for his widely popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion. The show attracts more than two million listeners on more than 450 NPR stations weekly. Keillor is also the host of the daily radio and online program, The Writers Almanac, and a best-selling author of many books, inclu...

Reza Aslan — Youth in Revolt: The Future of the Middle East

Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, whi...

James Balog

Thursday, January 19, 6:30 pm

James Balog has been a leader in photographing, understanding and interpreting the natural environment for 25 years. Balog is an avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology who founded the Extreme Ice Survey to reveal the impact of climate change. This is the most wide-ranging photo...

Gretel Ehrlich

Thursday, January 5, 6:30 pm

Ehrlich’s newest book In The Empire of Ice: Encounters In a Changing Landscape builds on the nearly two decades she has spent in the arctic and invites readers to understand this threatened environment and its indigenous people at the top of the world. According to The Seattle Times, “Ehrlich has accompli...

Lois Lowry

Thursday, November 3, 6:30 pm

Lowry is one of the most celebrated authors of children’s literature. Her work speaks to children about difficult subjects as wide ranging as racism, terminal illness, the Holocaust and questioning authority. Lowry’s The Giver is widely read in our school district, required for 7th graders at Wood Rive...

Jonathan Franzen

Sunday, October 9, 6:30 pm

Franzen’s newest book, Freedom, has been called a masterpiece and a Great American Novel. His 2001 novel, The Corrections, was an enormous international bestseller, with translations in 35 languages, American hardcover sales of nearly three million copies and nominations for nearly every major book prize in...

A Look at Minimalism in the Mainstream by Robert Storr

Tuesday, August 9, 6:00 pm

In partnership with The Community Library and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, The Center presents Robert Storr, artist, critic and former curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the MoMA, New York. He has been a contributing editor at Art in America since 1981 and writes frequently for Artforum...

The Straight Line: Then and Now: 1960’s to Today with Courtney Gilbert and Kristin Poole

Thursday, May 19, 5:30 pm

Modernist and Minimalist artists shared a desire to create art outside the world of luxury goods and commodities, a desire that has resonated in different ways since Minimalism’s heyday. In the 1970s and 1980s, artists took courage from the work of the Minimalists and began to make art in the space of the l...

1960’s: Minimalism in its Moment with Courtney Gilbert

Thursday, May 12, 5:30 pm

This lecture will focus on the key artists and moments in Minimalism, from the work of Robert Morris and his 1966 essay “Notes on Sculpture 1-3,” to art historian Michael Fried’s attack on Minimalist art as “theatrical.” We will explore Minimalism as a reaction to Abstract Expressionism and tease ou...

Art History Seminar: Modernism to Minimalism with Kristin Poole

Thursday, May 5, 5:30 pm

In 1917 Marcel Duchamp placed a used urinal on its side in a gallery space and named it Fountain. Two years earlier Vladimir Tatlin made a work from common materials that depended on the corner of the gallery space for support. Some thirty years later John Chamberlain took mangled car parts and presented them...

Ari Fleischer

Thursday, March 10, 6:30 pm

As the White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer was the primary spokesperson for President Bush and delivered the White House briefings from 2001 to 2003. His years of working with the Bush administration have given him unique insight into the historic events of the time, including the Bush/ Gore presidenti...

Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum

Thursday, February 10, 6:30 pm

Meldrum is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Dept of Anthropology at Idaho State University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Occupational and Physical Therapy and Affiliate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. He has...

Roland Smith

Thursday, January 13, 6:30 pm

Smith is the award winning author of the Cryptid Hunters series of young adult books. His work is widely read and taught within the Wood River Valley. In the series, two teenagers are sent to live with their uncle, an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed...

Neil deGrasse Tyson as a part of the multidisciplinary project Cosmic: Artists Consider Astronomy

Wednesday, November 17, 6:30 pm

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and author of the New York Times bestselling book Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. He is the host of PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW, co-host of the radio show Star Talk, the most frequent guest on The Colbert Report (as of...

Maude Barlow as a part of the multidisciplinary project Water

Thursday, November 4, 6:30 pm

Listen to a podcast of Barlow's lecture in Sun Valley Maude Barlow is an international leader in what she has dubbed the “global water justice movement” and is the founder of the Blue Planet Project, which argues that water is a basic right and not a commodity. In 2008/2009, she served as senior advise...

Ira Glass

Saturday, September 25, 6:30 pm

Ira Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio’s Washington, D.C., headquarters in 1978. Today he is the host and producer of This American Life, a program that each week chooses a theme and puts together different kinds of stories on that theme. The show is heard on 500 radio stations and...


Friday, September 10, 6:00 pm

Raised in India and Pakistan and educated in England, Sir Salman Rushdie is one of the most celebrated and controversial authors and critics of our time. His novel The Satanic Verses provoked a fatwa (religious edict) by Ayatollah Khomeini calling for his death, as a result of which he spent nearly a decade ...

Lecture by installation artist Patrick Dougherty

Wednesday, July 14, 5:30 pm

Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick Dougherty began to learn primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. Beginning about 1980 with small works fashioned in his backyard, he quickly moved from single pieces on conventional pedestal...

Steve Almond public reading / discussion

Tuesday, June 15, 6:30 pm

Tue, Jun 15, 6:30pm Free at The Center, Ketchum Steve Almond is the author of the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the novel Which Brings Me to You, and the non-fiction books Candy Freaks and (Not That You Asked). His latest book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, was just...

JOHN LEHMAN on the Role of Surveillance in National Security as part of the multidisciplinary project I Spy: Surveillance and Security

Thursday, April 1, 7:00 pm

(this lecture is NOT a part of the Winter Lecture Series) John Lehman is currently Chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, a private equity investment firm. During the Reagan Administration, Lehman served for six years as Secretary of the Navy. He was president of Abington Corporation between 1977 and 1981 and ...


Monday, March 22, 7:00 pm

From 1993 to 2000, Donna Shalala served as President Clinton’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. In 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. She served as co-chair of the Commission on Care for Wounded Warriors and is currently p...

FREDERICK LANE as part of the multidisciplinary project I Spy: Surveillance and Security

Wednesday, March 10, 7:00 pm

From social networking and government surveillance to sexting and cyberporn, attorney and technology expert Frederick Lane takes a hard look at the rapidly evolving world of computers, privacy and free speech. The author of five books, Lane is a frequent guest on national television programs and a popular lec...


Thursday, January 7, 7:00 pm

While working as a freelance journalist in Tehran in January 2009, Roxana Saberi became the center of international attention when she was accused of spying for the United States and sentenced to eight years in jail. She spent 100 days in prison before she was able to appeal her case and was eventually releas...

Junot Díaz

Friday, November 20, 7:00 pm

“Hip, irreverent, funny, and above all, fiercely intelligent” and one of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century, Junot Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his “astoundingly great” (Time) debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Born in the Dominican Republic, D...

JPC Book Discussion as a lead up to Junot Diaz’ lecture

Thursday, November 12, 6:30 pm

Junior Patrons Circle members are invited to come discuss The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. (Iconoclast Books is offering 10% off all lecture series books to JPC members and 10% of Junot Diaz's book for those attending this book discussion.)

LECTURE for Prospects Exhibition: Julie Weston, The Good Times Are All Gone Now

Thursday, November 5, 7:00 pm

What happens to a mining town after the mines are gone? Hailey resident Julie Weston has written a memoir, The Good Times Are All Gone Now, about growing up in the once rowdy mining town of Kellogg, Idaho. Her story starts the day the smokestack comes down and looks back into collective and personal memory to...

David Sedaris

Sunday, October 25, 7:00 pm

NPR humorist and best selling author David Sedaris is one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. He is the author of the bestselling collections of personal essays Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Tim...

Lecture with Ambassador Martin Indyk

Wednesday, July 15, 6:00 pm

Martin Indyk is uniquely qualified to address current events in the Middle East. Indyk served two terms as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and acted as special assistant to President Clinton and as senior director of Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. While at the NSC, he served...

Fiction Workshop Reading

Friday, June 12, 6:00 pm

Students at The Center’s fourth annual writers workshop will read samples of their work. Please join us in celebrating local talent and hearing new voices in fiction.

A Reading by Brady Udall

Thursday, June 11, 7:00 pm

Celebrated author Brady Udall will be in the Valley to teach a fiction workshop for The Center. While here, he will read from his newest work. Udall is best known for The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint (2001),which has been favorably compared with the work of John Irving and Charles Dickens (although Brady says h...

Panel on Farming in the 21st Century

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm

A group of Idaho farmers will discuss current trends in farming that affect both producers and consumers. Join this group of experts to learn more about what is happening in our state and continue the discussion begun by Michael Pollan when he spoke here last fall.

Coleman Barks Reads the Poetry of Rumi

Monday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Barks is the most highly recognized translator of Rumi's poetry. His reading will be accompanied by music from world-famous cellist David Darling and sacred dance by Hafizullah Chisti, a Whirling Dervish from the Sufi order established by Rumi's followers in the 13th century. This performance is collaboratio...

Exploring Contemporary Feminism with Amy Richards

Wednesday, February 18, 7:00 pm

Amy Richards is the author of Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself, co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation, and the person behind “Ask Amy,” an online activist column located at www.feminist.com

Panel Discussion on Media and the Election

Monday, February 9, 7:00 pm

The elections are over, and this election is being touted as different from any previous election. Join journalists as they discuss how the media covered the election and how that affected people’s decisions. Panelists include The Nation’s Net Movement Correspondent, Ari Melber; the Los Angeles Times’ P...

Move Beyond “Green” in Your Home with Peggy Bates

Thursday, January 22, 7:00 pm

The surge of the green building movement warrants taking a closer look at what “green” really means. Peggy Bates will show examples of eco-conscious architecture from around the world and outline the differences between green trends and deep changes.

Michael Chabon as a part of the multidisciplinary Superheroes

Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 pm

Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, an epic story of two Jewish cousins who create comics in America as Europe is torn apart by World War II. His recent New Yorker article, Secret Skin: An Essay in Unitard Theory, explores the power of supe...

Michael Pollan

Thursday, November 13, 7:00 pm

Michael Pollan is the author, most recently of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His previous book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is the recipient of several journalistic awards, was th...

Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a part of the multidisciplinary Identity and Biology

Thursday, October 16, 8:00 pm

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is an influential cultural critic and author who hosted the PBS documentary series African American Lives which uses gen...

Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 25, 7:00 pm

Mary Oliver is one of the most celebrated poets of our time. Her poetry, which celebrates the natural world, has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Poetry. "Poetry isn't a profession; it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that," ...

Mara Liasson, the first of two conversations about the changing nature of journalism

Thursday, September 18, 7:00 pm

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR, and a regular panelist on Fox News Channel. She has extensive experience covering political campaigns and has covered three presidential elections.

Fiction Workshop Reading

Friday, June 27, 5:00 pm

Students at The Center's third annual writers workshop will read samples of their work. Please join us in celebrating local talent and hearing new voices in fiction.

Author Anthony Doerr

Tuesday, June 24, 7:00 pm

Celebrated author Anthony Doerr will be in the Valley to teach a fiction workshop for The Center. While here, he will read from his newest work. Doerr is the author of three books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. His fiction has won several awards, including the American Library As...

Beth Gates Warren on Edward Weston and His Bohemian Friends

Thursday, March 13, 7:00 pm

Photographer Edward Weston, one of the best known 20th century photographers, is most closely identified with Carmel, California, where he worked during the 1930s and 1940s. However, few people realize that he spent the first 17 years of his career in Los Angeles. Soon after Weston left Los Angeles, he destro...

Humanitarian Stephen Lewis

Saturday, February 9, 7:00 pm

Stephen Lewis is one of North America's most respected commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights. In 2005 TIME magazine named him one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" (in the same category as the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela) for his life-long dedication to s...

Cheech Marin discusses his Chicano art collection

Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 pm

While he is best known as one half of the hilarious duo Cheech and Chong, Marin is now gaining recognition as the owner of one of the world's largest collections of Chicano Art. He will discuss the unique contribution Chicano artists have made to American culture and fine art in his lecture and slide presenta...

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